WHITBY (Ontario)


Whitby is a Southern Ontario town located east of Toronto and along the north shore of Lake Ontario. The town is part of the Durham Region and is the home of the region's Headquarters and District School Board. Whitby is a mixture of urban and rural areas where the southern region is mostly an economic hub. The Town of Whitby is known for its natural harbor on Lake Ontario, which was a significant construction for its economic progress.

Being an economic center, Whitby is a popular travel destination in the Greater Toronto Area. Whitby itself is home to companies like the steel mill operation of Gerdau Ameristeel. It also houses a retail support center by Sobeys and a warehouse of Liquor Control Board of Ontario. It also has pharmaceutical companies including Pantheon, Johnson Controls, Lear Corporation and Automodular Assemblies, McGraw-Hill Ryerson and many others.


The Town of Whitby was named after a British seaport town, Whitby, Yorkshire, England. The word "whitby" is Danish for "white village" presumably because of the lighthouse found at the pier of the two Whitby Towns. The records show that Whitby became a settlement in the 1800s after its founding by Peter Perry and the first business center was constructed in 1836. Because the economy of the town has been started, a road that travels from Whitby Harbor to Gregorian Bay and Lake Simcoe was built a couple of years later. The road literally made way to trading and transportation to and from the richer parts of the region. In 1859 (to 1862), an Elizabethan Castle was built for the Sheriff of Ontario County as a private home. In 1874, the same building became a private girls' school and was then called the Trafalgar Castle School. Whitby also played an important part during the Second World War. A spy training facility, called Camp X, was established under the orders of the "Man Called Intrepid," Sir William Stephenson.


╣Trafalgar Castle School. It is an important architectural landmark that has been marked as the town's only provincial historic site. This school for girls has a maximum capacity of 240 students to maintain optimum teaching environment. It caters to learners from Grade 5 to 12, providing university preparatory curriculum.

╣the Camp X Intrepid Park. It is another of the town's many historical places. The original camp building has been demolished but in 1984, a monument was built on the exact site of the camp. You can get to the park through Whitby's Waterfront Trail.

╣the Centennial Building. It was built in the 1850s and became Ontario’s Courthouse from 1854 to 1964. Three years after, the building was turned into a community center. In recent times, the Centennial Building is now the Whitby Courthouse Theater used mainly as a banquet hall. Visit this and you will be one additional witness to Ontario’s Heritage structure.

╣Hunter Farms. Have you ever seen an emu? If you haven't, you are in for a treat. This is the largest emu farm in all of Ontario. You and your kids can also experience petting unusual farm animals.

╣Whitby Shores. This area houses Whitby’s Waterfront Trail where you and your family can enjoy water activities.

╣Lynde Creek Marsh and Cranberry Marsh are excellent viewing points to witness migrating birds.

╣various other recreational facilities in Whitby for water sports and games. For example, the Iroquois Park Sports Complex at Victoria Street West has multiple sports and recreation facilities. The Central Lake Ontario, Lynde Shores and Heber Down Conservation Areas have recreation facilities where you can spend the day camping, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing and wildlife viewing. The Conservation Authority facilitates the area so you need to communicate with them first. The park also has amenities and support for the physically challenged visitors.

╣the Port Whitby Marina. It is located at the harbors on Lake Ontario. If you are a recreational boater, the Marina offers floating docks and 410 births to accommodate any boat. It is also easily accessible. Town facilities are also nearby. You can access the Marina via Highway 401 and Highway 12. The Whitby Yacht Club can accommodate up to 400 members and you can choose recreational activities like racing and cruising.

╣the Station Gallery at Henry Street. If you simply want to stroll, why not visit this place? The Gallery is open seven days a week, without reservation or admission fees. They open at 10 in the morning during weekdays and at 12 noon during weekends. The Station Gallery started as a community gallery built by arts enthusiasts. They operated under the name Whitby Arts Inc., and with the help of benefactors and supporters, the group was able to purchase the Grand Trunk Railway Station, which has been marked for demolition. The Gallery was completely renovated in 2006 and exhibited works from the Canadian Council Art Bank. Station Gallery offers Family Art Days, which features a hands-on art activity as well as cultural performance. They also offer art workshops and classes, Curator’s Tour, Treasure Hunt and other music and community events.


Whitby is accessible by plane, train or bus. The Ontario Highway 401 will pass through the south end of Whitby. The south end of Highway 12 is located in Whitby as well. If you plan to bring your own vehicle, you can simply follow this route. If you are to travel by train, you can choose from four railways. The Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway travel east-west to south of Whitby. The latter also has a station from Toronto to Havelock, which is at the northern part of Whitby. If you are near Oshawa, VIA Rail has a station there. If you want a cheaper alternative, you can travel through GO Transit via the Lakeshore East Line. This transit travels parallel to the Canadian National Railway. There are also bus services for Whitby tourists. If you are traveling from Montreal, Cornwall, Brockville and Kingston, you can buy tickets from Coach Canada or from GO Transit if you are from Toronto. If you will travel by plane, the Pearson International Airport is just 45 minutes away from Whitby (by car). Oshawa also has a Municipal Airport, and from there you can travel by train.

You can easily get around town by taxi. Some companies you can count on include Circle, Ajax and Bell Taxis. After a day full of events, it is nice to rest on a relaxing bed with welcoming accommodations. Ezra Annes House Bed & Breakfast at Wellington Street was featured in The Best Places to Bed and Breakfast in Ontario. Room rates range from $100 to $110 per night including taxes. They are known for their country-style accommodation. Canadiana Inn offers several facilities for their guests. The rooms are equipped with air-conditioners and heaters, microwave ovens, coffee makers and complimentary local newspaper. Telephone use is also allowed.

Whitby is a large place where company employees usually travel back and forth. Avoid rush hours and prepare your transportation queues ahead of time. Summertime is a busy season for Whitby, however, with hotel reservations, your stay will be secured. Most of the attractions do not require reservations so there is no need to worry. You just need to bring the basics and some cash should you want to visit art galleries and gift shops.